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A gentle breeze kept the summer heat at bay for a record crowd at the Australia Day Celebrations at Pioneer Park. More than 800 local residents were welcomed by Wiradjuri elder Stan Grant, who told residents to “enjoy your special day”. The crowd applauded warmly as 41 new Australians gained Citizenship in a moving ceremony, the second largest contingent to date.

Citizen of the Year 2005 award winner Val Rowe was in tears before she reached the podium and thanked her friends & family for their support. “I’m lost for words. This day wouldn’t happen without the support of everyone in this town,” Ms Rowe said. “Because depression is such a hard thing to talk about, I hope this encourages people in this community to take a step forward. I just want to thank everyone for all their help. This is a wonderful community”.

The Suicide Awareness President was recognised for her work on a number of Mental Health initiatives including the Day Of Understanding, Dancing with Our Stars and Walk Away Your Worries.

Mayor John Dal Broi said he hoped the ceremony would keep growing. “Its good to see so many people from all walks of life here and Australians being patriotic” Mayor Dal Broi said. “I’d like to encourage people here to fly the Australian Flag in their homes every day”.
Story courtesy of Miki Perkins, The Area News.





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